To Be Read...
I'm home! RWA National Conference was fantabulous, and I can't wait to give you more details, as well as photos. Until then, you'll have to make do with the following observations.
- I own a lot of books.
- I somehow have to squeeze 26 more books into my mulitple TBR piles
- There is no human way I will finish even half of these books by the end of the month, even as quickly as I read.
- I'm a fangirl, but I did my best to not act like a complete geek while meeting all my writing heroes this week.
As we end Day 5 of Heatwave 2006, I'm melting. I'm not sure if it's the exertion of packing (nothing like waiting until the last minute) or the heat, but I'm ready for cooler temps. Alas, they are not really in my future as tomorrow I wing my way off to Atlanta and the 2006 RWA National Conference. Yup...me and 1999 other romance writers under one hotel roof. Can we say crazy time?
To those who won't be at conference, I promise to report all that I can upon my return. To all those who will all be at conference, I'll see you there! In the meantime, to steal a quote from Mike Myers, "Talk amongst yourselves."
Most of you are aware I try to keep politics out of this blog. I believe we all have a right to our own beliefs and political standings. However, I need to take a moment to ask all of you to say a prayer for peace in the Middle East. Over the last several weeks the ever present tension has grown even worse, and many innocents are paying the price for the evil acts of a few people. Regardless of your political leanings, who you believe is right or wrong, or who you support, please take a moment in your busy lives to remember those innocents who have died...on all sides of the conflict.
Sometimes, a girl's just gotta have fun...or so Cyndi Lauper told us. Today was one of those days. I went to the company picnic for the Big Corporation here in town today. Mostly it was hot. Hot and busy. Seattle, like much of the rest of the country, is experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures the other day reaching 104 degrees in some spots. This, for an area that spends much of it's summer in the comfortable low 70's, is a bit much for anyone, let alone me. You know, the girl who left the midwest to escape the heat? Yeah. It's just not right. So, today made for day 4...or was that 5...of the heatwave. Not a day to spend out in the sun, running around. And yet that's what I did.
But it wasn't all bad. In one section they had a rock climbing wall set up, with the other side of the wall hoisting up the Bungee Bounce (or whatever you want to call it). We went on it, and it was awesome! I did back flips and front flips (which most people don't usually try, according to the guy hooking me into the harness)...I flew through the air, with the greatest of ease. Or...at least I bounced through the air.
I'm sure you've all heard the joke (or is it a pick up line), "The only baggage I have is a carry-on." So in another event of layering before I realized what I was doing, I made another discovery today. Emotional baggage is a theme of my story. Mostly the baggage that comes with having a family you love and care about, and how to manage all that baggage. Well wouldn't you know it...every time a family member arrives on my main character doorstep, the bring their luggage with them. Yes...in yet another fit of genius (or is it madness), I have create both physical and metaphorical baggage. Ha!
What is it about office supplies? Every writer I know loves them. We could spend hours going through Office Depot or Staples looking at pens, sticky notes, folders, binders...you name it, we love it. There's something about the possibilities that office supplies promise. Personally? I'm all about a good pen and sticky notes. I have them everywhere. Most writers I know do, as well.
The other supply culprits are teachers. We love them because they make our job easier. We can buy bulk paper, pens, pencils, paper clips...actually organize our rooms and life styles. Which is why I'm in so much trouble. Target has started their back to school sales early this year (way too early in my opinion, as it is still mid-July), and they have everything. Makes me want to yell, "Step away from the notebooks and no one gets hurt!" I was practically drooling.
As a writer and as a teacher, I'm in trouble. Big trouble.
Flirting with Forty
I know I've mentioned this book several times, as part of my growing list of books I was waiting for, and to read. But now I'm pleased to shout, "IT'S AVAILABLE!!!" Run, don't walk, to your nearest store and pick up a copy. Jane Porter has penned a wonderfully emotional tale of life and what it means to try to rediscover yourself.
Last week was the book release party for Flirting. Jane read and excerpt, answered some questions, then it was off to Ooba Tooba's for the real party. Mai Tais, food, laughter and fun were on tap for the evening.
It was like a preview for Nationals. And if this party was any indication, I'm going to come home with abs of steel from laughing so hard for a week.
I am pitch challenged...
It's sad really. I have no trouble writing a book without having a detailed outline or synopsis. I'm a pantser, and proud of it. However, when it comes down to the wire and I've got to pull together my pitch & synopsis, I desperately want to crawl under the covers and hide. Mostly this week I'm feeling pitch challenged. I keep finding little bits here and there to tweak, and it's starting to bother me. I just want it done! I want it done so I can fly to Atlanta, have my appointment, and be able to walk out of it with a request for submission.
Is that so much to ask?
*sigh* And to make matters worse, I walked out of Serena's house today with my bag o' stuff, but managed to leave behind my manuscript, notebook and pitch sheet. Hey, at least this time I remembered to remove the baby wipes and diapers from my bag.
Setting the mood...
One thing many writers have in common is the use of music to set the mood for various scenes. And no, I don't only mean "those" scenes. Get your minds out of the gutter. I mean all sorts of scenes.
For example, if the scene is particularly angst-y, you might use the soundtrack to Les Miserables, to get you going. Or if you're writing a particularly intense fight scene, you might go for some Heavy Metal. Some of us have our "go to" artists, those musicians that never fail to move us to where we need to go. Others flit from song to song, much like a butterfly, or a particularly psychotic muse.
Here are some prime examples of songs guaranteed to move you:
- Must Be Doing Something Right, Billy Currington (romantic scenes)
- I'll Take That as a Yes (the hottub song), Phil Vassar (romantic scenes)
- One Week, Barenaked Ladies (witty repartee)
- Settle for a Slowdown, Dierks Bentley (the Black Moment)
- Desperado, The Eagles (Hero's Black Moment)
- Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder (getting the book going)
So what about you? How do you use music?
More pictures from graduation!
See? I really did graduate...here I am with my (borrowed) cap & tassle.
Here I am with classmates Liz & Claire. I'm pretty sure we were laughing at my mother as she tried to take as many pictures of me as she could
Here I am with Mom and H...don't they look proud?
Out of Control...
Well folks, my TBR pile is out of control. I don't really know how it happened. I picked up a book here...found another one there. Shannon
gave out some at a chapter meeting and of course I've been to the library a few times this summer. At my latest count I have 26 books in my TBR piles, some of them which have been there for years!
And the worst part? This is all BEFORE conference, where I will likely pick up at least half a dozen more, if not more than that!
I think I need an intervention. Help!
After being asked this morning (for what felt like the 800th time) if I have a job yet, and having to answer, "No...not yet." I feel the need to take stock of all I DO have, as well as my accomplishments.
- I have plenty of milk and cereal (thanks to Ms. K's donated box of Raisin Bran).
- So very many books to read on my TBR shelf (yes, the list has grown, even though I finished at least 4 of the books on the last one printed).
- Mom and I are up to almost 23 miles on our bike rides. That's 4 miles more than last year's 19 (see, I can do math).
- New friends (and some who moved away and have to email me and let me know how they are doing...you know who you are!)
- A manuscript, that while needing some minor surgery here and there, does not need a complete face lift and tummy tuck.
- A reloadable Starbucks card. 'Nuff said.
- New business cards created by my friend Danielle, graphic designer extraordinaire. As soon as I can get one doctored so you all can't stalk me using it, I'll post it.
- A plot for my next book...and it doesn't suck!
- There's a lot more, but really...you don't want to hear it all.
So your turn...what are you proud of?
Food, part 2
Not to detract from my fabulous news from yesterday, but I have to post a pet peeve of mine...running out of milk after you've already poured the cereal, and the milk on top of it.
Now I have a bowl full of Raisin Bran swimming in about a quarter cup of milk. This is so wrong...but I'm so very hungry.
Celebrate good times, c'mon!
Whoohoo!! If you would all please direct your attention to the word count meter to your right, you'll notice that I finally did it. After an exhausting couple of days (start out with not enough sleep, worked both jobs, biked almost 23 miles and revised 6 chapters), I finished the second pass through on revisions for the current WiP. Of course, I have at least two more to go (one hard copy, the other on the computer), but I'm that much closer to officially putting this sucker to bed!
Next on tap is my plan to get to get at least the first three chapters, my synopsis and my query letters all ready to go, so that when I return from conference I can simply stick 'em in the mail and move on with my career.
And now, I'm off to sleep. I'm exhausted!